When you’re looking for a bakery that sells freshly baked bread, someone who can repair your cracked screen on your phone, or your car needs a proper wash, what do you do? You naturally search for the place online. Your customers are no different; when looking for a service or product that your business provides or sells, they go online to find out where to go.
Local search marketing is a strategy that targets customers within a certain radius of the physical store or business. Essentially it is all about targeting an audience that is based in the same area as your business and a type of search engine optimization that helps local businesses show up in search results.
Local search marketing applies to enterprise brands, large chains, and single-location businesses. The bottom line is to make sure customers looking for the product or service you're providing find your business at the top of the search results.
Online and offline should not be seen as two separate things; both are as important in the customer journey. Thus, to truly understand and get the most out of your local search marketing strategy, you need to bring offline and online together.
Did you know that “near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 90% over two years and that 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device result in either a call or visit to the business within 24 hours?
Social media marketing has become one of the essential strategies within digital marketing today. Businesses today spend endless resources and hours on various social media platforms.
However, most companies forget about one of the essential steps in digital and local marketing, optimizing their search rankings and presence on Google, in other words, doing local search marketing.
Googling (verb) to use the Google search engine to obtain information about someone or something on the internet. - Oxford Learners Dictionaries
Local search is when a person is searching for a business, product, or service near them or in a specific location. The search results then display a list of three businesses below Google Maps that Google believes are the best match for the searcher, based on the ranking factors. These three listings make up the Local Pack on Google.
The Local Pack and your Google Business profile is a valuable platform to strengthen your visibility online and engage with a local audience. A well-optimized business listing that shows up in the local pack is a solid competitive advantage since it puts your business before your competitors.
Understanding how Google ranks business can seem to be tricky. Google uses a number of processes, or more appropriately called algorithms, to crawl and index thousands of sites in just a couple of seconds. The algorithm crawls the sites and returns a list of business listings that match the search made in the search engine. The results are based on three main factors, relevance, prominence, and distance.
The algorithms look for a number of off-site and on-site features to determine which website and listings best match your search. All the relevant search results are added to a list, which is then ranked by prominence.
By optimizing your business listings and making sure all relevant information is included improves your SEO significantly, resulting in your listings showing up higher in the search results.
What does this mean for your local marketing efforts? You can appear both in the Local Pack and the organic search results simultaneously as a local business. You're probably wondering where to start and what to focus on to get the best possible results.
Having a Google Business profile, local citations, and actively receiving reviews of your businesses significantly impact your local ranking factors. Additionally, keeping your NAP information correct and posting localized content also affects the algorithm in your favor.
Mobal is a business listing too focused on local search, with the primary goal to help you show up in search results online and monitor your business listings effortlessly. With Mobal, you can optimize your business’s digital footprint in the local search ecosystem.
By sharing local offers, answering reviews, and keeping your NAP information up to date, you will show up higher in the search results, leading to more potential customers that find and choose your business over your competitor.
There are of course several factors that affect and influence your visibility online, and local search marketing continues to change and grow. Google changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times every year.
By using a tool for optimizing your listings, you can keep up with the signals and build your local marketing strategy. When putting some effort into your local search marketing, you'll be able to serve more customers in your specific region and, by that, acquire more customers and grow your business faster.
NAP+W is an acronym for name, address, phone number, and website. These three pieces of information make up the base and core of your business information in the local search marketing world. The wrong NAP information can mislead your customers and cost you revenue. Also, if search engines encounter inconsistent NAP information, they'll become less trusting, and as a result, your business will rank lower in search results.
Reviews are considered to be one of the most influential ranking factors for local businesses online. Over 90% of people read reviews online. Reviews have a significant impact on the trustworthiness of your business. Every local business should have a strategy to encourage visitors and customers to leave a review.
Download our review guide to learn how you can get your customers to leave more reviews. The number of reviews and the rating can directly affect local search rankings. Also, although receiving a bad review can create a negative atmosphere and impact your company in several different ways, it is vital for you as an entrepreneur to think about how to respond and manage those kinds of comments properly. Learn how to answer o bad reviews in our previous article.
Choosing the right business category in your business listings is crucial. If your profile contains the wrong category, your business will not show up when customers are looking for the products or services that you provide. Read more about choosing the right category for your business here.
Additionally, according to Whitesparks' study on local ranking factors, the keywords listed in the title, completeness of Google Business listings, quality of the inbound links to the associated domain, and the keywords in the native Google review have a significant impact on how your business ranks on Google.
A strong presence on Google and a local SEO strategy are the keys to driving more people to your business, whether you have a few hundred locations or just one.
Download our guide to learn how to optimize your Google Business Profile.